Roadside memorials

A roadside memorial is an object constructed, erected, planted or placed within the road reserve (i.e. part of the road stretching from one property boundary to another) to memorialise a fatality in a road accident. Memorials may have flowers or memorabilia attached to existing infrastructure.

These memorials help people grieve for their loved ones and are a visual reminder to road users to travel safely. We acknowledge that the death of a loved one in a vehicle crash can be very traumatic and Council remains sensitive to the needs of affected community members.

Below is all the information you need about constructing and visiting a roadside memorial.

On this page:

Getting consent

While you don’t need consent to construct a roadside memorial, we encourage you to provide us with relevant details. That way, if we need to relocate or remove your memorial, we can easily locate the responsible person and get their assistance.

Constructing a memorial

Roadside memorials can be a safety hazard for drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and visitors to the crash site. Any memorial that does present a safety hazard will be removed without notice, though Council will make every effort to contact the memorial’s owner to arrange an alternative location.

Appropriate roadside memorials may comprise:

  • a small floral display
  • small moveable structures no higher than 1m
  • a small plaque.

Securely fix all items so they don’t blow away or distract drivers.

Roadside memorials should not:

  • be constructed from heavy materials (e.g. concrete or stone)
  • have large objects with a solid base
  • be made of reflective material or illuminated by any means (including solar lights)
  • have more than one memorial for each accident
  • become elaborate and extensive
  • create a hazard to wayward vehicles.

Locating your memorial

Place your roadside memorial on the nature strip.

Do not place your road memorial:

  • on the roadway surface
  • on the median, roundabouts, bridges or overpasses, culverts, most regulatory signs or other roadway infrastructure as determined by Council
  • anywhere that restricts a vehicle’s site lines or creates a distraction
  • anywhere that obstructs the function of traffic control devices
  • anywhere that may pose concerns for landowners of adjacent properties.

Additionally, don’t place a memorial where it could hinder or impede Council, utility companies and emergency services in their maintenance operations or accessing services (e.g. fire hydrants). Council may move the memorial in this case.

Visiting memorials

If you visit a roadside memorial, take precautions to minimise the risk of an accident. If you arrive by vehicle, park safely and legally on the roadside.

Relocating memorials

If we need to relocate a memorial in an emergency, we will do so sensitively and attempt to contact the responsible person to inform them. We will also place a notice on the memorial for 14 days stating the date for relocation. If no one contacts Council after this time, we will relocate the memorial as close as practical to the original site.

If we can’t relocate a memorial, we will retain any non-perishable item for 60 days. The memorial owner or bereaved relatives may collect the item by arrangement with the Council.

Council will not accept responsibility for memorial maintenance, or loss or damage caused by their removal or relocation due to road maintenance or construction activities.

Timing and maintenance

Initial memorials

Memorials may remain for 13 months from initial construction. The memorial owner will need to remove it after this time. Council may remove the memorial after this time if needed.

Anniversary memorials

You may place repeat roadside memorials on special anniversary dates for 30 days. Follow the requirements in these guidelines for constructing this memorial.

Consultation

Local residents may find roadside memorials in urban settings upsetting, as they’re a reminder of an incident that occurred near their property.

Therefore, you should seek and respect the views of adjacent residents before constructing a roadside memorial. Also consider the conduct of visitors and visitor frequency.